Trazer: Kids of Stolen Tomorrow by Joseph O. Adegboyega-Edun

It’s the year 93 O.O., and Dara Adeleye is a student with a bright future and her life figured out. That is, until a chance encounter with a mysterious child changes everything.

Dara lives in a world shaped by the Miracle of Elegua, an intervention by the gods in the fate of an Earth on the brink of collapse decades before she was born. Exceptionally gifted as an artist, her day-to-day attentions are on excelling in school in order to rise above her lower-class upbringing and raise her friends and family out of the dreaded red vanes. But Earth is headed towards the brink again and it may just be the gift she doesn’t know she has that can save it . . .

Kristano Arvelo is a trazer–the term used for the graffiti writers of Dara’s time, a once-slang that originated in her home town of Todirb Wall. The aimless leader of a local group of trazers, he may hold a key to unlocking Dara’s hidden gifts. But it will come at the cost of the destiny she believed was hers.

RA Winter’s Review: 4.5-Stars

Trazer, Kids of stolen tomorrow is a mix of genres.

In a dystopian future, Dara Adeleye strives to become a minister, even if her professor doesn’t think she’s up to scruff. One day, she encounters a young girl and her world as she knows it is changed forever.

The world has been changed by the gods, long before she was born. She dreams of getting out of the red vanes, a slum where she lives. A virus, whose first symptoms is death, hangs over their heads and her friend tests positive for it. Only the ruling sect has the medicine needed to stave it off. The gods have their fingers inside humanity and there is a brewing clash among the new class system.

But, she might have a gift, one that is hidden, one that could save them all. She must make a choice and bare the consequences.

There is a lot of African-centric cultural references in this book, something we don’t see often, and it was very neat to read. Written in multiple POV’s, each character comes through.

This is a very involved read, there is a glossary, which I’m very thankful for. It’s too bad that you can’t click on a word and have the term definition pop up. Once however, you get into the zone with this book, the terms make sense and time will fly by. There is so much going on in this book, it is hard to give it all credit. Murder, mystery and a new world with Afro-centric religious undertones.

This one is good for all ages, but not for light readers who want a quick read. It’s complicated but in a good way. Spend your time with it, savor every word. This one is a thinker.

Loved it.

Elkin Hardcoves’ Review: 4.2-Stars

TRAZER: KIDS OF STOLEN TOMORROW

I have mixed feelings about this work; not that it is bad, but there are a few issues with it. First, if you read it electronically, you might not be able to jump to the glossary of terms, which are absolutely necessary to understand many of the authors created terminology. If you don’t have this option you need a copy of the glossary handy in order to understand things, since the author doesn’t provide you with information about what the term means in text, or any context clues.

Second, while this work is most certainly a YA book, and fits well into that genre; it feels more fantasy, or better yet, urban fantasy, than Science-fiction. This second aspect isn’t a major issue, but it is still an important one, depending on if you were to purchase this book thinking you were getting a Science-fiction work. Lastly, there are a few time jumps in the early parts of the work, which might require you to reread portions to catch them.

Without spoiling the work too much: Trazer is a slang term for graffiti artists/ writers, with the book centering in part on a specific group of mystically powered ones, who live in a future world where resources are scarce & warfare has made parts of the world uninhabitable. Thus, population is somewhat densified, with the urban lower classes living in red vanes; the middle classes living in blue vanes; and the upper classes living in green vanes.

There is also an important divine component — further adding to the fantastical element already mentioned — who were responsible for a number of events in the past, such as saving humanity once, and introducing the mystical elements central to the work. There is a significant world-building effort on the part of the author, plenty of new terms to encounter, and the characters are certainly well crafted. Furthermore, there are a number of plot twists that one will simply not see coming, which will definitely take the reader by surprise.

The work also contains plenty of tense moments and hooks to keep you interested, if you are willing to put forth the effort to keep the glossary handy.

I’d give this work 4.2 out of five.

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